Alva is a city in and the county seat of Woods County, Oklahoma, United States, along theSalt Fork Arkansas River. The population was 4,945 at the 2010 census. Northwestern Oklahoma State University is located in Alva.
Location of Alva within Oklahoma
|Coordinates: 36°48′21″N 98°40′04″W|
Alva was established in 1893 as a land office for the Cherokee Outlet land run, the largest of the land rushes that settled western and central Oklahoma. The site was chosen for its location on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and likely named for a railroad attorney, Alva Adams, who had become governor of Colorado.
During World War II, Alva was the site of a prisoner of war camp for German POWs. On July 19, 1943, the United States Department of War ordered that Camp Alva would be the place for the internment of the most troublesome German prisoners of war — "Nazi leaders, Gestapo agents, and extremists".
Today, the city council is actively soliciting murals and trying to attract businesses and tourists to keep people in town. Alva lost 200 people between 1990 and 2000 according to official census figures. The Alva Review-Courier is published Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Alva is located in the northeastern quadrant of Woods County, Oklahoma, 65 miles northeast of Woodward, Oklahoma and 72 miles northwest of Enid, Oklahoma.Its geographic coordinates are (36.801931, −98.665959). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land.